Black Countess – The Language Of Flesh (2006) Album Review

Holy mother of dark desires. Two fucking days that I have not been writing anything on this blog. Though I stated many times that I wanted to post at least 1 review per day, things don’t usually go how I want them to. Occasionally some people come knocking to my door asking to go out for some booze and spend time doing other shit. I usually don’t make promises, because there will always be a slight chance that I might not keep them, so instead of it being misunderstood and my word being turned against me, I’d rather hold my horses. Though, about the “hold your horses” thing, I brought an interesting review about a rather special album, special for males and something that females might not like. This is not a proper present for 1st of March, however, women have a day only for themselves, so I need to reward the guys too, with a pleasure that only women can offer. So be prepared, keep your hormones in control, if you’re a cardiac be sure to take your pills, because we’ve got Black Countess, a Russian band born in Ulyanovsk (heck if I know where that is), created by Ilya Polagushin, an interesting Russian figure. This statement does not really come only from his opera, but from his looks too, I swear that when I saw his picture for the first time, I thought he was one of those gorgeous, long-haired goth women. The guy looks like he is ripped-off from a vampire tale, sucking the blood of all females and only considers them as sexual tools.

The sexual tool thing is for real. While reading the lyrics in all his works in Black Countess, you can only find erotica references. His view towards women is sort of extreme, rather merciless, he does not view them as equal human beings, that could stand at a man’s side, but only in a man’s bed, a tool to satisfy one’s dark desires. I mean, in this album you can even find in lyrics, statements that prove to be against the bands that have only females in their line-up, such example is a Japanese band called Gallhammer, which has an only women line-up (heck I would’ve picked up some other bands like Blackthorn, which is even from the same country like him, they have more than 2 members at least lol, and the chicks are much more sexy than the two Asian figures from Gallhammer). You only need to glance at the album cover to figure out the intentions and the thoughts that this man has in his mind. When I first bought the album I thought that the whole thing with the cover was a joke, for sales purpose, but I was much more surprised when I saw that this is not a shallow work, meant for the sake of distribution only. It is certainly not an album made just to add one more record to a saturated market, even though there are bands that play a similar style.

I stated in a previous review that playing a similar style is not a sin nor it is plagiarism. The metal genres are limited, in fact, I would be much more grateful that there is so much diversity in the metal realm, considering that other musical genres do not dare to get out of their own limitations, and the recipe remained the same since their formation, having a central figure as its own creator, the rest just some mere copy/paste artists that became famous through over the top promotion, publicity and display. Metal is not such a genre, diversity is its best point but at the same time its own weakness, as conflicts are many and quite stupid between fans that justify themselves as metal fans but they limit themselves to certain genres, excluding the other ones, hypocritical bastards.

Black Countess offers a decent performance in this record. Casting aside the fact that it uses erotic themes in more ways that just lyrical content, the musical approach is not that bad either. It stands somewhere between the old Cradle of Filth and the actual Graveworm, combining extreme metal such as black metal with elements of doom metal and gothic metal (mostly featured in the imagery though). I actually came in contact with this album through Cradle of Filth, and found out that the similarities between these two bands are quite deep and are quite many, except for the erotic themes.

I am a fan of both old and new Cradle of Filth, not to mention a loyal Graveworm fan, but as for the first one, I sensed since quite a while ago their different approach to their music, changing from the rather good and more extreme symphonic black metal (not the symphonic black metal played by Dimmu Borgir, a better version, featured on the first 3-4 albums) into a commercial/mainstream style, switching to a gothic kind of playing style. You can barely recognize Cradle of Filth as a black metal band nowadays, pretty much every aspect that black metal has, it completely disappeared or it’s been hidden on purpose. Not the same thin happens with Black Countess. The black metal elements are still there, the tone is much more melancholic compared to Cradle of Filth and it is not buried in synths and keyboards like CoF or DB. The guitar riffs are rather boring and monotonous throughout the entire album with a few exceptions in songs such as Demonica or The History of a Witching Forest, the last one even showing hints of some techno elements.

What makes this album stand out are the synths. They are a pleasure to the ear, even though we speak about a rather raw and unconventional musical style, but they do manage to impress and they do not discard the black metal elements featured on this album. The keyboards, unlike the synths cannot fight on par but they are definitely better than the guitar performance. The bass lines are totally hidden and the drum style is specific to black metal drummers. The lyrics on this album are much more styled and give a hint of inspiration compared to the ones featured on older works. Ilya Polagushin’s voice is also quite good, his voice not being so high pitched like Dani’s but it is a pretty good voice.

All in all, Black Countess is the wet dream of every perverted guy, that follows his desires. I agree on one thing, this guy is total maniac, the way he thinks about women nowadays could be considered extreme, so I don’t recommend this album to the feminine side. Though for a male, it is something that might give him a little bit of pleasure, and not only a musical pleasure to the ears. It shows the fact that man is the one that gets to rule over woman, it shows that man is superior. If I were in Russia, I might’ve thought the same, knowing that the country is fucking filled with beauties that would make every guy drooling. Though we live in a modern world, a democratic world, so we must think about equality between sexes. But once in a while, we males need to release our fantasies from our minds and from our souls.

Ilya Polagushin is not the average guy though, in this album he did like 90% of the entire work. He composed the music for the soundtracks, he wrote the lyrics, and he played most of the instruments on most of the songs with several exceptions. The album also has a good production quality, so I believe that we don’t really have a DIY system implemented in this album. So, if you are a male, and you want something different from metal, not in musical structure and style, but in concept and content, check out Black Countess’s The Language of Flesh. If you are a woman, I advice you to turn away from this one, that’s if you have a radical position about misogynists. Cradle of Filth fans will not have a problem with loving this band, though I think that it is much better and offers much better records than the current Cradle of Filth. Sink into your dark perverted desires and listen this record, it is a new experience!

Overall Impression: 75/100